On Wednesday, NASCAR announced that the Confederate flag would no longer be allowed at events. This news came days after the professional racing organization’s only African American driver Darrell “Bubba” Wallace said NASCAR had “reached out” and had been “stepping up to the plate and delivering in a huge way.”
NASCAR: ‘The presence of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events…’
NASCAR said in a statement, “The presence of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors, and our industry.”
“Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special,” the statement read. “The display of the Confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 10, 2020
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Wallace had told CNN anchor Don Lemon in an interview that the Confederate flag had not bothered him in the past because the race car driver was focused on chasing “checkered flags.”
Now, Wallace says he has had a change of heart.
Talking with @BubbaWallace after NASCAR's decision to prohibit the Confederate flag. pic.twitter.com/3cqenIQD3K
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 10, 2020
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NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace: ‘My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags’
“Diving more into it and educating myself, people feel uncomfortable with that, people talk about that — that’s the first thing they bring up,” Wallace said.
“My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags,” he continued, mentioning that NASCAR was focusing on how to proceed moving forward on this issue. “No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”
Backlash to NASCAR's ban on the Confederate flag has been almost immediate, with some claiming they will no longer attend races or support the organization. https://t.co/uhXN7sjhYp
— NPR (@NPR) June 10, 2020
RELATED: NASCAR Owners to Drivers – Kneel for the National Anthem and You’re Gone
NASCAR President Steve Phelps held a moment of silence before a race in June, declaring that “our sport” and “our country must do better,” and that now is the time for Americans of all stripes “to listen, to understand, and to stand against racism and racial injustice.”
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